Igbo Kwenu! Igbo Kwenu! Igbo Kwezuenu!
We the sons and daughters, inheritors of the great Igbo World civilization bound together by common ancestry and Igbo heritage customs and traditions have united with common goal and resolve to do whatever is necessary to keep our great Igbo language and Cultural heritage alive and thriving for the enjoyment of new Igbo generations and for posterity. To this effect a Consortium of Igbo Organizations and Individuals have come together to work for the staging and launching of a new all Igbo Heritage Festival to be called “Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival”.
According to the plan, the first event will be staged during the first weekend in August 2017 (from August 3-5) near Washington DC/Maryland area. Next year in 2018, the event will be staged in Atlanta Georgia, to be followed by other major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Boston, Nashville, Houston, Dallas, Toronto in Canada, and South African and cities. (Ilu Igbo kwuru si na anyukoo nwa amiri onu ogbaa ufufu)
Staging events of such magnitude is always costly, but the cost will be mitigated and managed through support of member organizations, Brochure sales, donations from Igbo Philanthropists and Igbo owned businesses, and Raffle drawings. Such unified effort removes the burden of one organization footing the bill for this great festival. The venue for the first event will be announced as soon as suitable place is secured in and around the Washington DC/Maryland areas..
The purpose of the new Igbo Diaspora Cultural festival is to continue to focus on propagation of Igbo language and Culture to the new generation of Igbo Children born outside Igboland. There are estimates of 15 million Igbos in the diaspora majority are young and were born outside Igboland. Many are showing great interest in learning Igbo language and cultural traditions. Our aim here is to encourage these young Igbos to learn more about their heritage. WE CERTAINLY DO NOT WANT IGBO LANGUAGE TO DIE!
Recently ABW published a heartwarming story of Chinyere Ohaya a 16 year old Igbo daughter born and raised in Atlanta Georgia USA, who speaks writes, and reads perfect and fluent Igbo. She has now taken up the mantle of speaking and encouraging all Igbos both old and young of the urgent need to save Igbo language and culture from going extinct. See the story and video link below. (http://www.africabusinessworld.com/first-igbo-born-in-diaspora-speaks-writes-reads-perfect-igbo/2017/01/28/) Stories like this illustrates that progress is being made to keep Igbo language and culture alive one small step at a time. Many Igbo Schools are springing up in many locations in the diaspora, teaching Igbo language to students. We encourage and applaud such effort.
In an initial meeting which included, President of Nwannedinamba USA, Chief Dr. Larry Udorji, Hon Odibeze Nkiru Onyema of Nwannedinamba USA, PILA-USA represented by Model Kanayo Ntukogu, and Africa Business World of ATL Georgia represented by Mazi Okechukwu P. Oranika, an agreement was reached that such large scale event should include all Diaspora Igbo Associations and Organizations that wants to be a part of this great cultural heritage event.
It was further agreed that this event is needed to galvanize the growing interest of Igbo children born outside Igboland in Igbo language, heritage and cultural traditions. Other organizations have been consulted and all in the list below have joined the effort, and others including Nze Na Ozo USA, South African Igbo Organizations, including Progressive Igbo leaders South Africa (PILASA), Council of Igbo State Leaders South Africa, (CISLSA), Royal Brothers Association South Africa, Abia Royal House South Africa, Nze na Ozo South, Umuada Di Igbo Mma of Los Angeles, Igbo Language School of New England (ILS), Igbo School of Atlanta, and much more. We will be reaching out to Igbo organizations in Europe, Asia and Australia to become part of this great and universal all Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage extravaganza
We are also reaching out to our Igbo Royal Majesties, Igwes, Nze na Ozos, and Chiefs, in Nigeria as well as the Nollywood Movie Industry which pioneered the efforts to showcase Igbo culture and traditions to the world. We invite Nollywood to join us in doing Igbo movie premieres at the festival with emphasis on Igbo Culture and language.
In the coming days and weeks, we will be consulting and contacting many more Igbo organizations in the USA and Canada, including, ASA-USA National, ASA-USA Canada, Igbo Union Canada, Igbo Union Atlanta, Imo State Congress of America, Abia USA, Ebonyi USA, Anioma USA, Umuada Ndigbo National groups, Abatete USA, Peoples Club, Brothers Club of Atlanta, Tuesday Forum, Otu Umunne, Umuokpu Association, Anaedo Social Club of Atlanta, Idemili Association, Umuigbo Unite, Umuibe Group, Igbo Catholic Community of Atlanta, Ogene Ndigbo of Virginia and many others. We encourage these groups and other Igbo organizations to send their contact details to Okechukwu P. Oranika at email@example.com for formal consultation.
Prof. Okechukwu P. Oranika , Chief Dr. Larry Udorji
Chairman Planning Committee Co-Chair, Planning Committee